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All Things Resolve ... In Good Time

Lack of inspiration leads to words that came from nowhere.

I’m wondering what I’ve done to deserve the Universe shutting down on me as I attempt to write this, my 20th blog. How can my fingers move on the keyboard when I’m in a state of complete paralysis? 

I usually get inspiration from events that occur during the week, from ideas that pop up mysteriously from sources unknown, perhaps after I’ve observed or analyzed a situation or two. But right now I feel completely empty, spent, uninspired; I feel done. I feel like I just can’t do it anymore, like I don’t have anything to say.

So my thoughts begin now to revolve around the notion of reaching goals, of feeling a certain sense of achievement. Interestingly, goal and achieve are both among the top 1,000 frequently used words (per the Oxford English Dictionary). I won’t expand on their meanings, but I find it curious that the origin of goal is virtually unknown, that is it just a Middle English word that evolved around the sense of limits and boundaries. 

And yet we are urged to expand our goals, to think big, to reach for the stars. To allow our hopes and dreams to be limitless! And achieve is derived from the Old French achever, from a chief, meaning to ‘come or bring to a head’. Well, our goals arise from our thoughts, don’t they? 

I drift to thoughts of gratitude, of how thankful I am that despite my struggles with depression I’ve been able to actually put my ideas down on paper, in what I hope is a coherent and perhaps creative fashion. Grateful, yes, that magic virtue that everyone espouses, that special something that is said to open doors to a fuller and richer life, that attitude that I'm supposed to assume every waking minute of every waking day.

Grateful derives from the Latin gratus, meaning thanks, and thank derives from the Old English thanc, which is a ‘kindly thought’. And thank is related to think, which is just related to the Dutch/German word denken — that’s all, just a short string of letters on a page, nothing deeper or more revealing to it.  These words seem to have a somewhat ethereal quality.  

There isn’t much substance there, they seem to float in the air until we capture them and speak them aloud. Somehow we all know what they mean without getting all worked up about it. Think made the top 1,000 hit parade, but thank didn't. What's up with that?

There are websites that list words of unknown origin. They’re packed with silly words that sound like someone just “made them up”. Included among them are bamboozle, rollick, jitney, galoot, curmudgeon; words that sound funny and have letters that earn big scores on Scrabble, J’s and Q’s, Z’s and F’s. But these lists don’t include thank or think, or words like laugh and smile that seem inherently self-explanatory and yet have no traceable origin in antiquity. 

So what is the Universe tying to tell me? Damned if I know! My good friend Mother Nature isn’t helping either, so I can only conclude that it’s OK for me to keep my head in the clouds right now, to stay in this floating and drifting state temporarily until things come into clearer focus. 

So that’s what I’ll do, I won’t waste any energy worrying about it. I’ve got a whole list things 'to do', loose ends to tie up, tasks I’ve been avoiding or putting aside for no good reason whatsoever except sheer ennui. 

I’ve got a whole book to revise! I’ll put myself into a watch-and-wait mode, while remembering the wisdom of the 17th century Japanese ronin (swordsman) Miyamoto Musashi: All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.

Now discern, hmmm, there's a juicy word. 

To be continued. . .

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cate Tsahalis July 23, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I wouldn't sweat it, Helen. I don't know what your feelings are on astrology, but you may be interested to know that Mercury is in retrograde at the moment (July 14th- August 8th). Even skeptics admit that there's something noteworthy about these periods. It can be a very difficult time for communication, and often people feel completely out of sorts. I encourage you to read the following link. This woman does a fine job summing up this particular mercury in retrograde. She even mentions that this is an especially difficult time for Virgo editors. I found this particularly interesting, because my sister is a Virgo editor and she has spent the entire week in a nasty funk. Hopefully, by the 8th, you'll be feeling more balanced. Good luck! http://galadarling.com/article/how-to-survive-mercury-retrograde
Cate Tsahalis July 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Oh, and one more thing... I have also had total writer's block, which is why I haven't written anything in way too long!
Alicia Yost July 23, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Helen, I think you've completely overcome your writers block by writing about writers block and you've been very successful at it! At the beginning of the year, I made a committment to write daily on my personal blog and I did really well until summer came along and the kids made it impossible for me to sit down and put two thoughts together. But during those times when I felt I had nothing to write, I found that it helped to read, to talk to friends and especially to pray. I so often did what you just did- write about having nothing to write about. In fact, I think volumes could be written about that place that we all end up from time to time when our brains shut down. I think you are exactly where you are supposed to be in this place and time and something great will come of it. This so reminds me of Anne Lamott's book "Bird By Bird." In it she talks about how her brother was supposed to be writing a report on birds but overwhelmed by the enormity of the project he was paralyzed and couldn't write. Then his father sat down next to him, put his arms around him and said, "bird by bird, Buddy. Just take it bird by bird."
Helen Evrard July 24, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Thanks so much, Cate! I'll be checking it out. . . Thanks, Alicia. I'll have to check out that book, too!

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